Research on the storage of CO2 and CH4 in ultra-deep sea salt caverns is competing in the area of “Petroleum and Gas Exploration and Production”. Award ceremony to be held at the end of November

The FAPESP Shell Research Centre for Gas Innovation (RCGI) is one of the finalists for the 2019 ANP Technological Innovation Award, with the project “Gravitational CO2 and CH4 Storage and Separation System in Salt Caves Built in Ultra-Deepwater Offshore Environment in Brazil”. The announcement of the finalists was made on October 21 and the award ceremony will be held on November 28, at the Itamaraty Palace, in Rio de Janeiro. Besides Shell and the University of São Paulo (USP), the project has the companies Modecom, Technomar, Agronautica, and Granper as partners.

The ANP Technological Innovation Award has been granted since 2014 and is in its sixth edition. The objective is to recognize research institutions accredited by the National Petroleum, Natural Gas, and Biofuels Agency (ANP), Brazilian companies, and petroleum companies that present results associated with one or more projects related to the development of innovative goods, products, services, systems, processes, methodologies, or concepts for the petroleum, natural gas, and biofuels sector. The projects must be developed in Brazil, with funding through the Research, Development, and Innovation Clause (RD&I) of the Petroleum Exploration and Production (E&P) contracts.

Divided into four topical areas, the award is given in five categories. Three finalists are chosen in each category, which correspond to the results of the best evaluations of each one. There are three criteria for judging the competing projects: originality, relevance, and applicability/functionality. The RCGI project is a finalist in Category II of the topical area “Exploration and Production of Petroleum and Gas”, which deals with the results associated with a project developed by a Brazilian company, with or without the participation of an institution accredited by the ANP, in collaboration with a petroleum company.

The technology for the gravitational separation of CO2 and CH4 is the object of a patent filed for by the researchers connected with the RCGI’s Project 34 (Development of studies regarding the construction of salt caverns for storing and separating CO2 and CH4 in the pre-salt region). The patent is registered as “Method for the gravitational separation of natural gas in caverns, a system for capturing and the definitive storage of natural gas with CO2 and a system for the definitive capture and storage of CO2.”

According to Professor Gustavo Assi, the RCGI’s Coordinator of Project 34 and Director for Diffusion of Knowledge, “the nomination of our project for the ANP Technological Innovation Award, this year, indicates both the recognition of the good work of a team that is involved with the leading edge of technological knowledge and the recognition that the issue of carbon storage is gaining importance on the national scene.”